It’s 6:45 pm, I’m still on my commute home, and I just finished today’s Listener puzzle, “Rattle” by Augeas. Not nearly as hard as it looks at first — I had solved maybe nine clues when I figured out what the quotation and the theme were. (Still haven’t figured out what the title means, but I’m sure it’ll come.)

It’s an amusing theme, but it ends unsatisfyingly, to my taste anyway, because of the amount of extra information that has to be given so that there’s a unique answer. Seems like an aesthetic flaw in the construction to me. Given the freedom the constructor had, I’m not sure why there couldn’t have been enough more crossings with the unclued, thematic entries to eliminate alternatives.

Oh well. Cute theme, anyway.

Headline of the Day

From yesterday’s Spiegel Online, topping a story about resignation of German defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg over revelations that his doctoral dissertation was heavily plagiarized:

Copy, Paste, and Delete

This has been a huge scandal in Europe, but it’s hard to imagine there being a ripple of outrage in the United States over something like this. Who would care?

Arthurian Legend

This past Friday’s Listener puzzle, “Arthurian Legend”, is a very nice puzzle, not too easy and not too hard. I finished on Saturday morning. The theme is hard to say anything about without giving something away — I’ll just say that I think it will be unfamiliar to many, but that it looks to me like the way the puzzle is constructed, you don’t have to know anything about the theme to finish the puzzle. Nor does it look to me like figuring out the theme early would help much help in solving.

A nice touch that’s worth mentioning: When you’ve solved the puzzle and figured out the theme, some online research may lead you to a list of nine relevant titles that may now look a little familiar.